New head Coach A.W. Hamilton is getting the opportunity to get his team in the gym early as the NCAA will allow the Colonels to have ten extra practices this summer as they will they will be heading to Coast Rica August 7th for three games. With the extra practice’s EKU will open them to the public so Colonel fan’s will have an opportunity to see the team and the coaches for the first time. The first of ten open practices will be July 24th.
The Colonels will have six new players next season, all will be eligible with the exception of Darius Hicks. Hicks, a transfer from NC State, may have to sit the year out. EKU is appealing that ruling with Hicks only seeing action in six games for the Wolfpack before an injury cost him his season. Darius will have three years of eligibility left as Colonel regardless. Of the newcomers to keep an eye on for next season Jamura Brown, a true freshman from North Carolina, is atop that list. Brown had interest from power five schools Tennessee and Cincinnati before EKU landed him. His senior season he averaged 19.3 points and is a great defender. He can guard the point or off guard and guard against the three well. Kelvin Robinson, a JUCO transfer from Northwest Florida State College, averaged 10.5 points a game along with 4.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists. He helped lead his team to a top five ranking last season.
Of the returning players Nick Mayo is of course the top returner. Mayo has and will continue to make history as a Colonel. Nick has started ninety three games in a row and has averaged 17 points and 6.1 rebounds in his career. Mayo is the all time leader in blocks in school history and sits two hundred fifty points behind the top spot to become the leading scorer. He is one of only six Colonels to ever score 1500 points and grab 500 rebounds. He is also looking to become the first Colonel to ever be named first team all conference for three straight seasons. Coach Hamilton said that Nick in in the best shape of his life and is working hard to become a better player in hopes of achieving the dream of playing in the NBA. He has seen that many players in the league averaging 8 points and 6 rebounds get contracts worth millions of dollars and has no doubt that Mayo could be one of those guys in the NBA.
Along with Mayo the Colonels have three seniors. Jackson Davis, coming off an injury where he only played in sixteen games and Kirkland Humphrey are going to be the leaders. Humphrey, a native of Richmond and member of the state championship team at Madison Central. Dujaunta Weaver, JaQuess Hobbs, and Peyton Broughton also return experience from last season’s team.
Coach Hamilton has brought on two new coaches to this year’s staff. Steve Lepore and Mike Allen have shared a bench with Hamilton before, all three were together at Hargrove Military Academy. Reece Gaines has been with the Colonels since 2015.